Majors put 'Dogs on ice

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

For what seemed like an eternity, the puck lay just beyond prone goalie David Shantz in front of the Mississauga IceDogs net.

But in a split second, Tyler Haskins managed to get his stick on the puck and end Mississauga's season.

Haskins completed a first-round upset in the OHL playoffs when he scored the winning goal with less than two minutes remaining yesterday, giving the St. Michael's Majors a 2-1 victory and the best-of-seven series in five games.

"Guys were saying that from the bench it looked like slow motion," said Haskins, who was tackled to the ice by Patrick O'Sullivan as he scored. "We came out with the mindset to stay tight defensively (in the series) and we might have a chance against these guys. It ended up working out."

Featuring the No. 8 Majors against the No. 1 IceDogs, the series was not over before it began but it was close. A strong second half put the Majors in the playoffs in the last week of the regular season, but they still wound up 14 points behind the IceDogs in the Eastern Conference. Yet desire and hard work by St. Mike's through the series trumped the IceDogs' skill and lack of determination. Mississauga came to play before 5,389 at the Hershey Centre yesterday, firing 49 shots at an excellent Justin Peters in the Majors net. But the effort was too little, much too late, and the first conference title in club history went to waste.

"It's pretty disappointing to have such high expectations for our team, finish first in our conference and then come into playoffs and lose the first round," O'Sullivan said. "(The Majors) utilize what they have. They work hard. They play well as a team and they have a good coach. When Peters plays like that, he steals games for them."

Scott Lehman also scored for St. Mike's. Cody Bass scored for Mississauga.

The Majors will meet the Peterborough Petes in a conference quarter-final, starting later this week. It's probable St. Mike's will start the series without captain Nathan McIver, who suffered a wrist injury in Game 2 versus Mississauga and has not played since.

"Lady luck just smiled on us," Majors coach Bud Stefanski, whose club was 2-1-1 against the Petes this year, said of eliminating Mississauga. "(The Petes) have two outstanding lines and may be a little deeper up front. The games were all tight with them and we hope we can keep things going on the road."


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